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**PRINT: A GAME I ONCE ENJOYED, by Chicago's Patrick Somerville, is THE2NDHANDís 32nd broadsheet. Somerville's work previously appeared in No.24 in 2007, and this Somervilleís second broadsheet since the release of his short-story collection, Trouble, in 2006 marks the first since his novel The Cradle launched into the cultural imagination with coverage in the form of reviews in places as high as the New York Times Book Review. Donít let that turn you off, though; Somervilleís work is viscerally humorous and elegantly dramatic as the best out there, as evidenced in this epic story, about a chess game whose stakes might well be higher than its players know. Also in this issue: a short from Ohio scribe Daniel Gallik.

**WEB: BREADSTICKS Russell Helms
WING & FLY: REMAINDERS & REMINDERS, Spencer Dew crown pics, Tom McCarthy, etc... | Todd Dills
ITINERARY: ALL TIMES APPROXIMATE Ryan Strong
GUNS Paul Kavanagh
FORECAST: Chapt. 8 of a serialized novel Shya Scanlon
SMOOTH Spencer Dew
LAST DAY IN BIRMINGHAM: A TWITTER ITINERARY Todd Dills
ITINERARY: ON THE ROAD WITH A PUNK BAND IN SPAIN Joanna Powers
LUNCH HOUR SHOPPING Nikolina Kulidzan
HIDEOUS BOUNTY: BLOOD BROTHERS | Andrew Davis

BREADSTICKS
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Russell Helms

Helms lives and writes in Richmond, Ky., where he's working on an MFA at Eastern Kentucky University.

Wrists chained loosely to a tan cement block wall, a large white naked woman with long black hair and a tattoo of a blue rose on her left hip bears down steadily as if giving birth to a nation. Terence, a skinny black kid with dreads, holds up another steel ladle of thick milk and flour porridge.

Columbia College Fiction Writing Department

In the kitchen of the pasta joint, pots boil and steam. An industrial oven rages at 550 degrees. Every plate that slips over the chest-high mantle -- spaghetti with meat sauce, rigatoni, ravioli, or just a slice of pizza -- everything comes with a breadstick. A soft, hot breadstick the size of a baby's thigh bone. Crispy brown on top, soggy with liquid margarine on the bottom, baked in batches of twenty in an oblong pan. The breadsticks last for about fifteen minutes and then go cold, crumbling in chunks like a week-old hotdog bun.

Tanya downs the yeasty goo. She thinks about her psychology final. She thinks about her boyfriend Travis and his little boy Derrick. She thinks about the cut on her foot last summer and how it healed so quickly at the beach. She had worried about the sand getting in it. But her mom had been right about the salt water. She closes her mouth and shakes her head No. She spreads her legs and lets the next batch drop, coiling it with her hips onto a cookie sheet sprayed with Pam from a can the size of a fire extinguisher. Paul, the 3-till-closing manager, grabs the sheet and scoots it to the prep table.

It's Family Night and the place is hopping. In a back corner, kids make paper doohickeys and bend pipe stems into raccoons. The balloon man'll be back next week. Everybody wants extra breadsticks. Terence pressures the ladle to her lips, tells her to hurry.

She wants to be a cop. Her dad was a cop. She breathes out and swallows a solid quart. She rolls her aching shoulders. She remembers her mom having a bad feeling one night at church, getting in the car and leaving her at the church on a Wednesday night.

Kids are standing in line now, waiting on breadsticks. Up front Paul grabs at the breadsticks from the pans, tearing most of them with the spaghetti tongs.

She's taking night classes to get her GPA up to a 2.5 so she can apply to the Police Studies program. Her mom watches the kids.

Her bowel groans, the small intestine feeding the large, pushing out a rope of rich dough.

After playing with the pastor's boy Simon for about half an hour after church that night, someone said her dad was dead and took her home. She's sorry about the shoplifting. She wants her dad to be proud of her. She'll make a fine policeman, she thinks.


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OUR FRIENDS AT The Left Hand make great soap, salves, balms and other natural hygiene-type stuff, in addition to publishing a zine and running a book swap, a performance series and more from their Tuscaloosa, AL, homebase. When they offered to make something for us, we jumped. We introduce THE2NDHAND soap, an olive oil soap with a quadruple dose of Bergamot, "for the readers we've sullied..." Price is $6, ppd.

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